This book is all about programming websites, from page one to page 622. He recommends readers should already know how to build web pages using HTML and CSS. Duckett prepares programmers by providing basic programming concepts, definitions of the language itself, and examples of how it is used.
Each chapter contains an introduction, background pages, reference pages to introduce key concepts, diagrams to provide a visual, examples, and a summary page at the end of every chapter.
Duckett structures the book with core concepts detailed in the opening chapters and then moves onto practical applications in the last several chapters.
The first chapter explains The ABC of Programming. It is a clear indication of how well this book is written and what readers and programmers can expect from it. He starts by describing what a script is and how the reader can compare it to everyday items: “A script is a series of instructions that a computer can follow to achieve a goal.” Then he compares a script to recipes, handbooks and manuals. Next, he details writing a script. “To write a script, you need to first state your goal and then list the tasks that need to be completed in order to achieve it.”
But programming of any type is difficult and time-consuming. Programmers have a special type of patience that the average computer user doesn’t possess. While this book explains all of its many, many programming concepts in understandable and useable language, it is still a book for those who want to program as a living or as a really time-consuming hobby.
Part of the problem with programmers writing how-to books is that they are seasoned programmers who have a strong handle on the concepts. More often than not readers are just beginning, or trying to find their way around a programming issue they have encountered.
They need a book to take them step-by-step and computer term by computer term. This book does just that. While Duckett is a seasoned programmer, he clearly is able to break the topic down so that beginners as well as those slightly seasoned programmers can understand.
I’m one of those people who can program enough to get into trouble and then I have to call on other more seasoned programmers to help. I didn’t have any trouble understanding the concepts and techniques Duckett detailed in this book.